A Father’s Glory

One of the greatest joys of my life has been watching my children grow stronger in the Lord. Nikki and Jesse grew up in our home and we had the responsibility to model faith before them and to teach them the things of the Lord. I can honestly say that I felt there were more failures than successes. As I watch them mature in the Lord, I stand amazed at the Lord’s work in their lives. In spite of my failures as a father, I am proud of the adults my children have become.

I am watching my daughter Nikki and her husband Chad face the struggles that are coming against them right now, and I am proud of the faith, resolve and courage I see in their lives. I am not sure that I would handle things as well as they are. I see the hand of God on them and I praise His name.

I watch my son Jesse and his wife Amy as they face the pressures of leading a Baptist church and I am amazed at what I see the Lord doing through them. I am watching them mature in grace and I am grateful to the Lord. I listen to Jesse preach and it boggles my mind. He has as much ability as any preacher I have ever heard. His messages are filled with great content and his delivery is smooth and powerful. God has His hand on Jesse’s life.

I am proud of my children, all four of them. I am a blessed father, and I am grateful to God that my children turned out pretty good in spite of everything I did (unintentionally) to mess them up. Nikki, Chad, Jesse and Amy: I love you guys and I am proud of each one of you.

Alan

Trisomy 18

I am sorry that I haven’t been by in a while. Things have been different in out part of the world, to say the least. Last week I was in Carrollton, GA for the annual campmeeting at Central Baptist Church. On Tuesday, after the morning session, we received a call from our daughter. She is expecting a baby, and during the course of a routine exam, a problem was discovered. Joan and I started for home immediately. After all, while I am a preacher, I am a Daddy first. Anyway, her OB/GYN made Nikki and appointment with some other doctors in Charlotte. After testing the genetic material in the baby’s placenta, they discovered that the baby has Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome. Nikki and Chad found out this morning.

Essentially, the baby, now named Johanna Raye Carswell (Yes, she is a girl) has three 18th chromosomes instead of the normal two. This is a devastating prognosis for Johanna. Around 95% of babies diagnosed with Trisomy 18 never live to be born. Of those that are, about 90% die within the first year. Those who are born usually have severe physical problems, and sometimes physical deformities. Most also suffer severe mental issues as well.

So, as you can imagine, this has been a tough day for our family. I would ask that each of you pray for the Lord’s will to be done in this matter. Regardless of what we want, we know that He is absolutely sovereign and that He is in control of this situation. He can heal Johanna, and let her be born into this world, or He can allow her to be born into Heaven. All we ask is that He be glorified by whatever happens and He give grace to Nikki, Chad and the rest of the family. On that note, let me say that I am proud of Nikki and Chad. They received, what can only be described as, the most terrible news imaginable. Yet, they handled that news with grace and faith. I am amazed at how the Lord works in their lives. We would appreciate your prayers.

In spite of the problems, I stand amazed by our sovereign, awesome, almighty, glorious God!

Alan

Another Good Night Of Meeting

The meeting at Eastwood Baptist in Marietta, GA is still going very well. The Lord met with us last night and blessed us with a great service. The singing was good and I had great liberty to preach the Word. The Lord blessed in the invitation with many responding to seek the Lord’s help in their lives. I preached from Galatians 5:16-25 about living a Spirit-filled life. God used the preaching and I am grateful. Lord willing, we will be heading back that way this evening for the final service of the meeting. Please pray for Pastor Mike Hatton and the folks at Eastwood. They are an active church with many great ministries. They are doing what they can to reach their community for Jesus Christ.

In the morning Joan and I will head back home. I look forward to getting there. Since this Sunday is youth Sunday, I won’t be preaching at Calvary. I am not sure that I like that too much, but our folks probably need a break. Anyway, Brother Tanner Munday from Taylorsville, NC will be preaching in the morning service. Brother Tanner is 18. Brother Jimmy Lambert from Morganton, NC will be preaching in the evening service. Brother Lambert is 98. It will be a day of contrasts and similarities. The contrast will be apparent in the age difference of these two preachers. The similarities will be found in their preaching styles. Both of these preachers are fireball preachers. Just the kind we like at Calvary. Pray for our big day.

Pastor Hatton is coming for us at 2:00 PM today. We are going to Roswell, GA to eat at Dreamland BBQ. Oh yeah!!!! Man, I love their ribs! If you ever find your self near one of their restaurants, and you like good BBQ, do self a favor and take him in for a bite. Neither of you will not be disappointed!

Later!

Alan

Meeting in Marietta, GA

The meeting at Eastwood Baptist here in Marietta, GA is going very well. The Pastor is Brother Mike Hatton. The Lord has met with us the last two nights and His Word has spoken to hearts for His glory. The folk are very responsive and engaged in the services. Please keep praying as the week progresses.

I appreciatw your prayers and your faithful visits to our web site. Pray for our various ministries and pray for Joan and me as we travel from place to place. Sometimes the flesh gets (stays) weary, but the spirit is always ready to preach and serve the Lord. God bless you all!

Alan

Emotion in Preaching

I have been listening to various preachers on the Internet, and as you know, there are all kinds of them out there. There are loud ones and quiet ones and ones that fall everywhere on the spectrum in between. I have no problem with a man being either quiet or loud, but I do have a problem with a preacher being dull and boring. Some preachers tend to deliver their sermons devoid of any emotions. I am sure they think they are trying to avoid the possibility of influencing people with the emotions. So, they deliver their exegesis of a Bible passage with no emotion. Their delivery is stiff, wooden and dry as cracker juice. Just between me and you, I have a problem with that kind of preaching. It may be a geographical thing, but I don’t call that preaching. Teaching maybe, but not preaching. Preaching screams passion!

Now, I am not in favor of manipulation. I do not believe that people should be pulled and tugged to make a decision based on some emotional gymnastics in the pulpit. However, when I read the Bible, I see the preachers in its pages preaching with intense passion. Hear what Paul said in Acts 20:31, “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Sounds like emotional preaching to me! Can you imagine Peter preaching his sermon on the Day of Pentecost without fervency and power? I can’t imagine him standing there delivering some dry lecture before those people. I personally believe that Peter was passionate in his delivery that day.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that preaching is logic on fire. He went on to say, “It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology; or at least the man’s understanding of it is defective.” That is what I am talking about! There is no room in the pulpit for dead, dry rhetoric and stuffy boring delivery. The pulpit is a place for passion, fire and excitement. Charles H. Spurgeon said this, “I would say that a “dull preacher” is a contradiction in terms; if he is dull he is not a preacher. He may stand in a pulpit and talk, but he is certainly not a preacher. With the grand theme and message of the Bible dullness is impossible. This is the most interesting, most thrilling, the most absorbing subject in the universe; and the idea that this can be presented in a dull manner makes me seriously doubt whether the men who are guilty of this dullness have ever really understood the doctrine they claim to believe, and which they advocate. We often betray ourselves by our manner.

That is a statement that modern preachers need to read and reread, until the truth of it breaks upon our hearts. We are charged with preaching the Word of God! We are charged with preaching the Gospel of God’s saving grace. We are charged with telling this world that Jesus Christ gave Himself on the cross to redeem His people from their sins. We are charged with telluing them that He rose from the dead, ascended back to Heaven and will return one day in glory and power to reign. How can we possess such a message and deliver it with anything less than “sanctified madness”?

We are called to “preach the Word“. The word “preach” translates the word “kerusso“. It refers to a herald, one who carried the king’s message to the people. That herald would stand before the people, lift up his voice and clearly and distinctly deliver the king’s message to the people. I cannot imagine one of those ancient heralds standing there delivering his message with a lackadaisical, boring, disinterested attitude. To do so would have been an affront to the king and his message to the people. That same is true when to comes to our preaching.

Preacher, preach the Word! If you are a loud preacher, preach loud. If you are a quiet preacher, then preach quiet. If you walk around or stand in your tracks, be the man God saved and called you to be. But, never, never, never, preach the Gospel with anything less than a burning passion for that message in your heart and on your lips. 

Alan

Meeting At White Plains Baptist

I have been preaching this week at White Plains Baptist Church in Taylorsville, NC. The Pastor is Brother Tony Daniels. We have been having a good meeting. I appreciate the presence of the Lord and the liberty to preach the Word of God. We have had great services each night, though I thought the response to the message last night was tepid at best. Be that as it may, I delivered my burden and that is all I can do. Please remember us as we close the meeting tonight. Next week we are off to Marietta, GA to preach at Eastwood Baptist Church where Brother Mike Hatton is the Pastor. Pray for these meetings.

Alan

Sunday Morning Is Here Again

I just finshed a great week of meeting with Pastor Randy Gibson and the good folks at Worship Point Baptist Church here in Lenoir. The Lord came by each evening and gave great liberty to preach His Word. He blessed the preaching in a wonderful way, and I am grateful. Lord willing, I will begin meeting Monday evening at White Plains Baptist Church in Taylorsville. Please pray for the meeting. Today, I get to go to Calvary Baptist to have church with our people. I miss them when I am away in meeting and I always look forward to getting back. I trust the Lord will meet with us. He always does.

I sat on an ordination council yesterday. North Laurel Baptist Church in Valdese, NC is ordaining Brother Tom Shuford of Psalm 23 Ministries this evening. Brother Tom has been given a unique ministry by the Lord. He ministers to the cronically and terminally ill. You can visit his web site here. Pray for Brother Tom and for His dear wife Terrie.

I pray that you will have a great day in the Father’s house today. God bless!

Alan